Anybody who is even slightly aware of politics is most certainly familiar with the term “Liberal Media.” It’s a talking point that is consistently cited by almost every conservative or Republican commentator. In theory, a vast majority of the “mainstream” media has a vested interest in the success of “liberals/democrats” and therefore slant their news coverage in favor of said politicians and issues.
I’m sure most people hear this claim and automatically interpret it as a fact, and to be quite honest, I can’t blame them, when a viewpoint systematically implemented within a variety of platforms, it’s bound to have an effect on the remedial sheep that make up our society. However, as I’m sure you’re well aware, Frog is far too cynical to just “take their word for it.” So I decided to do a little research
(Sidenote: I have not cited the source for any of the statistics used in this post because I felt it would be tedious and essentially irrelevant. However, if you feel the desire to dispute any of the numbers, I will gladly prove you wrong. I can assure you that anything you post will be rebutted tenfold.)
While this medium is obviously in heavy decline, I’m still composed to refer to it as the most legitimate form of news coverage. Considering how “liberal” the media is, I’m sure our country is flooded with publications that are heavily in the corner of Democrats….Right???
The #1 Newspaper in the United States of America is the Wall Street Journal with a circulation of just over 2 million. If you’re unfamiliar with The Journal, I can assure you that nobody has ever confused it with a “liberal” publication. In fact, it’s even owned by News Corporation, the same company that owns, you guessed it, FOX NEWS! There’s only one other newspaper in America with a circulation over 1 million and that is USA Today, a newspaper that is not politically motivated.
Rounding out the Top 5 is The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, which are liberal publications.
Bottom Line: The largest”conservative” newspaper has a larger circulation then the 3 largest “liberal” newspapers….COMBINED!
Advantage: Conservative Media
This category is so heavily in favor of one side that I doubt even the most partisan minded individual would claim it’s part of the “liberal” media…BUT, just for fun, let’s take a quick look at the most popular Talk Radio hosts in the United States of America!
Top 5 Talk Radio Hosts (In Order): Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Micheal Savage, Laura Ingraham
Well, I knew that liberals weren’t as active in the talk radio field, but this is literally the Dream Team of conservatives. If you were starting an Olympic team for conservative Republicans, this would your starting 5!
Bottom Line: Pure and total dominance, you’ll only find one Democrat in the Top 10 and they don’t even label themselves as liberal, but “progressive.”
Advantage: Conservative Media
Here’s where you’ll find the most contention because those that proliferate the liberal media myth would have you believe that ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and every other major network has a liberal bias. This is a factually inaccurate fallacy that has been implemented with the intention of convinving media networks to intentionally include more conservative voices, as to not look too “liberal.” (Note: I’ll admit, some of the political coverage of Barack Obama was initially biased in his favor, but this had more to do with the unique aspects of his candidacy then driving home a liberal agenda. If the first black president had been a Republican (hahahahahahahahahahahahah) he certainly would have garnered similarly glowing news reports.)
Some people already have their minds made up, all of the networks are liberal, the media in general is liberal, everyone that disagrees with them is liberal and any poll, study, statistic or proof of any kind is inherently liberal because it doesn’t pander direct political opinion to its viewers. You can’t argue with these people, much like you can’t tell a religious person what to believe, nor can you tell a sports fan that his favorite player is actually overrated, when people have made up their mind in regards to something they feel passionately about, there’s an overwhelming chance that you’re not going to alter their view, they have already set them in stone.
However, even a limited amount of research will produce blatant evidence that the major networks are centrist, not liberal. For instance, ABC News featured an editorial by author Micheal Malone in which he attacked the liberal bias in the 2008 election coverage. Would a network with a “liberal” bias allow someone to reveal their secrets to the public so freely?
Definition: Bias is an inclination to present or hold a partial perspective at the expense of (possibly equally valid) alternatives.
An editorial about liberal media bias seems to debunk the theory that a major network, in this instance ABC NEWS, would withhold a conservative perspective in favor of liberal alternatives. I could provide more examples, but you get the point, simple research provides indisputable proof that conservatives are commonly offered the same platform to express their views as liberals. If the media is so intent on silencing anything that isn’t from a liberal perspective, how did the Tea Party garner such extensive coverage during their initial rise?
Cable news on the other hand is a completely different story, in fact, it’s this medium that offers the most blatant refutation of a “liberal media bias.” As is the case with newspapers and talk radio, the dominant voice in the field of cable news is a conservative one, Fox News. What’s most baffling to me is Fox News’ claim that they are “Fair and Balanced.”
Really? MSNBC has a morning show featuring former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, Fox News doesn’t have any shows that feature former Democratic Congressman, they don’t have any shows that are hosted by anybody w ho’s ever been involved with any Democratic or liberal. I don’t need to delve into the propaganda machine that is Fox News, it has been done to a far greater extent by a mulittude of sources and I wouldn’t be uncovering any stones that haven’t been unturned.
But to say there is a “liberal media bias” when Fox News has more viewers then all of the other cable networks combined, is blatantly misleading and categorically incorrect.
Bottom Line: Even if all the networks were explicitly bias (They’re not) it couldn’t compare to Fox News. Sure, some of the stories might lean slight left of center, but liberals do not control a news organization that acts as a wing of a specific political party. There is no liberal equivalent to Fox News, which as I previously stated garners more viewers throughout the day then all of the other cable networks combined.
Advantage: Networks- Liberal Media | Cable News – Conservative Media
In conclusion, labeling news reports that you don’t agree with as “bias” is detrimental to a healthy political atmosphere. I don’t think “the media” (a term that is ridiculous in a day and age where new “news” is available every half milla-second) is bias in one way or the other. I think it’s quite obvious that certain organizations have formed an identity that appeals to a certain demographic, but to make a sweeping proclamation that an entire industry is bias towards one point of view is malarkey.
The difference is, only one side complains about a media bias. Sure liberal whine and moan about Fox News, Rush Limbuahgh, etc, but they don’t categorically deny every report that provides even a minuscule amount of dissent to their personal views.
Furthermore, if the “liberal media” is so rampant, why is there not a liberal equivalent to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly or any of the other faces of conservatism? I know it’s appealing to force the “Us against the World” idea down the throats of your supporters, but its patently false, there is no liberal conspiracy, there are simply differing viewpoints from a vast amount of sources that on occasion have the tendency to slant in a certain direction.
The media is liberal, but the largest newspaper in the United States of America has a staunchly conservative stance.
The media is liberal, but the 10 most widely broadcast radio voices in the country are explicitly conservative.
The media is liberal, but the most watched cable news network unapologetically employs and supports some of the most prominent conservative voices in the world of politics.
So please, can we join together as sensible people to dispel this myth? There is no inherent “liberal media bias.” Some platforms offer solace for conservatives, some are more partial to liberals, but the notion that either side isn’t receiving a legitimate opportunity to express their views and present their agenda is not true, and we will all be better off when we accept this as the fact that it is. We live in an age where the news you consume is your choice, to suggest otherwise is a blatant attempt to spread fallacious misinformation.